Grounds and Hounds

I follow a lot of coffee companies and coffee shops on Instagram. We all know this isn’t a surprise, right? Well, this company, Grounds and Hounds came across my feed one day as an ad because every site tracks every little thing. I was curious, as one would be who loves coffee as much as I do, and I clicked (which just fed the little stalker monsters). For every pound of coffee bought, they funnel money back into dog rescue efforts. I’m a cat person, but I’m here for rescuing ALL animals and was happy to part with some of my money for a pound of their Snow Day coffee blend…

I was in love with their holiday post card, too!

I’ll be grinding some of this to make some iced pour over and am so looking forward to tasting it. They even have a subscription service along with an online store with merchandise.

If you’re interested, click to be taken to their site… Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co.

Are you a cat or dog person?

Have a great week!

Holiday Blend Coffee

I’m a sucker for it.

Always. Every year.

But at least I can admit that I’m a sucker for it. I buy Starbuck’s Christmas Blend and Caribou Coffee’s Reindeer Blend in whole bean for cold brew and iced pourover and for use in the Aeropress.

And I have fallen victim this season to buying K-Cups… Peet’s Holiday Blend. I love it. It’s a quick, hot cup of coffee on cold mornings. And I’ve missed the convenience. I know all about re-usable K-cups, so don’t flog me just yet. I just have to not be lazy the night before and pre-fill one. But I have been lazy and well, I’m gonna own it and not feel the shame.

Do you drink Holiday Blend coffee or tea? And have you seen the tea advent calendars? They’re so cute! If I was a regular tea drinker, I would totally be all over one!

Have a great weekend!

~lissa

5 Things You Will Always Find On My Desk

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen my desk shots. From neat and tidy to cluttered. But everything I need to do my job is within reach and I thought I’d share with you what 5 of those things are:

Coffee (or some type of secondary drink) … If you know anything about me, you know I love my coffee. I can’t live without my coffee. It’s an addiction and I’m okay with that. I’ve accepted it. I’ve admitted it. I’ve made peace with it. If it’s give up coffee today or die tomorrow? Well, get to work planning the funeral. I have a coaster a friend (thank you Susan) taught me how to make that my drinks sit on. And the drink is always within reach.

Planners (and pens/pencils) … I have 3. My Happy Planner with my day to day Hustles (I’ll go into this another day, but you can always email me if you NEED to know what the hell I’m talking about with this Hustle stuff). My Editorial Calendar with blog goals. I just found this one again from when I moved office spaces and have started going through it. It’s really awesome and indepth. Holy. Moly. And my 3rd planner is my Always Fully Booked one. It’s all about books. What I’ve read, what I want to read, reviews (though I don’t leave reviews) and where I plan to keep what books I plan to read and actually DO read during readathons. But planners are always within reach to keep me on track and keep me current with what I have going on in my writing, reading, planning, creating, social media, etc…

Phone (plus my bluetooth ear piece and earbuds) … Yep. No explanation needed with this one, huh? Didn’t think so. Plus, podcasts. I listen to podcasts on my phone and so, yeah …

Sticky notes and Notepads/Notebooks … I always have something I’m jotting down. Lately it’s been inspirational thoughts for where I want to take my business and other ideas I have for perhaps other businesses and growth, etc… But I also write down websites I want to visit, color codes that are on my covers, my website, books I want, calculations, doodles. I think better and with more clarity when I write things down by hand. And I am forever taking notes from the podcasts I listen to. There’s so much valuable information in them. (And… yesterday I grabbed my pink sticky notes, a pen, and practically plastered my office walls with thoughts, quotes, questions, and inspiration)

Personal care items … This could be a whole post in itself. There’s a mini bottle of coconut oil lotion, pocket sized waterless soaps, Lime Crime lipstick (Bomber is the shade), a bottle of perfume, glasses (one pair for computer work, one for distance wear), a cupcake nail kit, my ankle braces, and almost always a pair of socks.

So, what’s on your desk? What would surprise us? Anything? Please share in the comments below!

~lissa

How Do You Take Your Coffee?

The Tattooed Barista


READ AN EXCERPT

Peg heard ringing in her ears and a cough, then a sputter as though someone were choking. Her vision was hazy, but she could make out Samuel sitting with his hip on the edge of his desk, coffee dribbling down his chin. She should go over and help him, because the woman dabbing a napkin on his shirt was making it worse. Only, Peg couldn’t seem to move.

Her feet were rooted to the floor and the arm around her waist was vice-like in its tightness. That was good… and bad. Good in that it was probably the only thing holding her up. Bad in that the man the arm was attached to may not live out the rest of the day once the office cleared.

The stunned looks on the faces of the four women in front of her and Derek said everything she was feeling inside. Shock. Horror. Embarrassment. Disbelief. Anger.

Samuel had recovered and an amused look had taken over. She liked him. She really did. But if he didn’t do something to help save his friend’s life…

He said Derek was acting weird. Maybe what he’d really meant was that Derek was crazy. That could be it. She’d buy that Derek had lost his mind between the time he ran in and the moment his mother had confronted him.

“I wasn’t aware you were seeing anyone,” his mother said. She’d recovered her composure much more quickly than Peg, although Peg wasn’t sure when she might recover hers.

“Whirlwind romance,” Derek said easily, lightly. “I took one look at her and that was it for me.” He gazed down at her with what she was sure was supposed to be love and affection, but all she read was pleading in his eyes. “I was head over heels before I knew what hit me.”

Oh, something would definitely hit him. Something hard. Something sharp and pointy. Something he may not wake up from.

However, she would play along. She would make sure he paid for it, too, and paid big.

“Something similar happened with Samuel, as well,” one of the women stated, her blonde hair perfectly coifed around her head while Peg’s was bundled in a mess on top of hers and held in place with cheap chopsticks. She wasn’t sure if the comment was meant to be pleasant or biting, but the women looking at them, didn’t fill her with warm fuzzies.

“I guess love blooms in summer,” Peg said, pasting a smile on her face so big her cheeks hurt.

“Seems so,” Derek’s mother stated. “I simply hadn’t expected it to strike my son quite so firmly, but since you’re going to be part of the family, dear, that means you’ll be part of our small group of friends. Let me introduce you to Samuel’s mother, Bitsy Worthington, and this is Cricket, who was thought, at one time, to be the perfect match for Samuel, and this is Pamela, who has been a very dear friend of Derek’s for many years.”

“Perhaps tastes change with the seasons,” Peg offered, though she was most definitely out of her element with this particular conversation. She had no business fostering the idea in anyone’s head that she intended to marry Derek. Kill or maim him, yes. Marry him, no.

“Do they?” Samuel’s mother inquired.

That question wasn’t asked with friendliness and Peg watched as Samuel stiffened, then rose from the corner of the desk. “Yes, Mother, they do. Especially, when that taste was never there to begin with. Now, I hate to cut this short, but if you all will excuse us, Derek, Peggy, and I have a meeting to get to.”

“What sort of meeting could all three of you be attending? She doesn’t look like a business person.”

Meaning no tattoos or teal hair? Peg didn’t miss a beat. “A potential investor for my new company has asked to meet with us. Samuel is my advisor, and Derek is my attorney.”

“You own a company? Like the other woman?” the blonde asked. What was her name? Cricket? Who the hell named their child after a bug?

“Samantha? Yes, like her. Only a little different. I own The Tattooed Barista. It’s a mobile coffee business.”

“You didn’t get the tattoos just for the business, did you? That would seem a little extreme,” Pamela, Derek’s society intended, inquired, her delicate nose scrunching up ever so slightly.

Peg laughed at the absurd question. “No. I’ve had tattoos since I was sixteen.”

And that silenced them all, enough that the awkwardness became almost intolerable. Derek’s mother cleared her throat. “I believe then that we should go so you can make it to your meeting. Peggy, I’ll get your card from Derek and be in touch. If you’re marrying my son, I’d like to get to know you and help you… plan. Help you and your mother plan, that is.”

Oh. Joy. Peg started to say something, to correct Pauline, but chose to let it go. There wasn’t going to be any wedding, so there was no need to get into her family history. “Great.” Why didn’t she ask for a card directly from Peg? Why did she think she had to go through Derek?

Derek stepped away from Peg and she smiled at the stiff hugs that were exchanged between mothers and sons and the unfeeling little finger waves as they all exited the office, their heads close together in heated conversation. Peg could only imagine what they were twittering on about.

“Thank God, that’s over,” Derek said, slumping down in a chair across from Samuel’s desk and loosening his tie.

He was so gorgeous with his espresso colored eyes and his midnight black hair. He was taller than her, even in the heels she wore and she’d always been a sucker for guys who were taller. Then there was the little bit of skin he showed as he unbuttoned the top two buttons of his dress shirt that made her lick her lips. He would be a huge distraction if things were allowed to progress outside what had happened in the office. She couldn’t let that happen. No matter how much she wanted to drop to her knees and crawl between his and lick that spot on his throat that he’d revealed. No matter how much she wanted to undo each and every button on his shirt so she could lick and kiss and taste his skin from his chest to his belly.

No. No matter what. She couldn’t let that happen. Instead… “Yes, thank God, that’s over,” Peg agreed. She motioned with her hand. “Time to pay up.”

Derek looked up at her, those dark eyes raking her from head to toe much as she’d been doing to him. She never felt self conscious with a man before, but something in the way he appraised her, made her feel that way along with aroused and hungry. He was out of her league. It was just that simple.

“I know. What say we meet for dinner around seven?”

The man was out of his mind. “I’m not going to dinner with you.”

“Why not?” He also seemed genuinely shocked that she’d say no.

“Because that wasn’t part of the deal.”

“I’d like to take you out as a thank you.”

“What are you thanking me for? Not killing you in front of your mother and her friends? Because I can tell you that you came very close to dying with that little fiancé stunt.”

For the first time, he looked uncertain and she wasn’t sure she liked that look on him. “I’m sorry about that. It was all I could come up with.”

“Really? That’s all? You’re a lawyer, right? You can’t lie better than that when put on the spot?” Peg shook her head. “Your poor clients.”

“Hey, now. You don’t know me. You don’t know that I can’t lie better in a more normal situation. One that doesn’t involve my mother walking in with a woman she would like me to marry. You don’t know that I can lie convincingly at all. So, don’t go making judgements.”

Samuel chuckled and Peg scrunched up her face as she tried to figure out exactly what Derek had just said.“Is that who she was? Your hopeful fiancé? I thought she was a friend.”

“Once upon a time in fourth grade maybe. Today was the first time I’ve seen her in years.”

“Either way. You owe me and I don’t want to have to have dinner with you. Samuel? You’re welcome to chime in any time now. He’s your friend.”

Samuel finally let out a full laugh. “Why would I jump into the middle of this? It’s entertaining for me.”

“Samantha wouldn’t like you just sitting there while I’m being thrown under the bus.”

“No, she wouldn’t. But she’s not here. You handled yourself just fine, Peg. Derek handled himself like a coward.”

Derek not so discreetly gave Samuel the middle finger. “You took Samantha to meet the lioness in her den knowing exactly what you were walking into, what you were walking Samantha into, and didn’t bother to tell her.”

“Yep, and she was strong and beautiful and for every bite my mother tried to take out of her, Samantha bit back.”

“See? Coward.” Derek sounded pleased with himself.

“You two are pathetic. Are you sure you’re not still in college?”

“When dealing with the women who were just here, yes, we are pathetic cowards,” Derek confirmed. “So, dinner?” Derek stated, his tone serious. “Tower of the America’s? Chart House? I’ll see you at seven.”

Available as an ebook:

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Lone Star Sweets, Book 3

Derek Forrester couldn’t lie his way out of a paper bag, but somehow he’s managed to convince his less than approving high society mother of his engagement to the teal haired, dangerously curved, tattoo covered, coffee cart owning girl named Peggy.

Peg, not ‘Peggy’, is far from amused by Derek’s fib, but the way he kissed, left her wondering what might have been if she hadn’t been paid to play along.

The stakes are higher than the original bargaining price, a new business is getting off the ground, and it’s going to take a whole lot more than caffeine to get through this wedded mess.

Other Books In The Series:

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Sweet Saturday

Lone Star Sweets has new covers created by TEZ Graphics. They’re beautiful. Bright. Light. And reflect the series.

I’ve flipped out the older covers and inserted all the new ones. I’ve uploaded all new information to Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Barnes and Noble. Amazon seems to be taking the longest to get everything going in the right direction, but eventually, they’ll all be there and looking good. (more…)